Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary

Year of compilation: 2004

Site description
Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary is often confused with Dibang Reserve Forest, also an IBA. The latter covers the lower reaches of the Dibang river up to Assam-Arunachal Pradesh interstate border. These IBAs are not contiguous. The Dibang WLS lies in the higher mountainous areas of the Mishmi Hills along Indo-China international border. Part of this IBA also falls under Dibang-Dihang Biosphere Reserve. This large IBA includes the forests and snow-covered peaks of the Mishmi Hills and is the source of the Dibang River and many of its main tributaries. The area is entirely mountainous with deep gorges. The vegetation ranges from Temperate Broadleaf and Temperate Coniferous Forests to Subalpine and Alpine Scrub, while the peaks are barren and remain snow-capped for the greater part of the year (A. U. Choudhury pers comm. 2003). A large part of this IBA is remote and inaccessible, with a long border with Tibet. Very few surveys have been conducted in the area (Kaul et al. 1995, Singh 1999), but now the birds and mammals are currently being surveyed (Choudhury 2003a).

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: This large IBA with difficult terrain needs many surveys for a complete assessment of its bird diversity. Four globally Vulnerable species have been recorded so far, the Red-breasted Hill-Partridge Arborophila mandellii, Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa (Singh 1994), Blyth's Tragopan Tragopan blythii and Sclater's Monal Lophophorus sclateri (Kaul et al. 1995). Ward's Trogon Harpactes wardi, a Near Threatened and Restricted Range species, was also recorded in the area (Singh 1994). However, many more globally threatened bird species are likely to occur.

The Common Cranes Grus grus that migrate along the Dibang river (Choudhury 1994) eventually cross Dibang WLS on the way to Tibet (China). Among other noteworthy species recorded are the Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos, Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus and Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Among the major mammals are the Snow Leopard Uncia uncia, Leopard Panthera pardus, Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Red Panda Ailurus fulgens, Musk Deer Moschus moschiferus and Takin Budorcas taxicolor (Choudhury 2003b).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Poaching; Collection of firewood; Felling of trees; Proposed mega hydroelectric projects.

Charaching, including trapping of galliformes, collection of firewood and felling of trees are some of the major issues. In the near future, the massive hydroelectric projects proposed on the Dibang river and its tributaries will be a major issue in the whole Dibang Valley area, as these will have a serious impact on the environment.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 19/04/2019.